Different Types of Ethereum Wallets
You are presented with four key options when searching for an Ethereum wallet. There are hardware wallets that you plug into your device, software wallets that you keep on your desktop or mobile device, paper wallets, and web-based software wallets hosted by a particular cloud provider.
The easiest option is a web-based software wallet, as this outsources the hard work to a particular company and gives you easy access to your funds. However, this involves giving control over your funds to an external provider, which will store your private keys. There have also been many instances of these exchanges being hacked, with criminals stealing users’ funds, so this is a risky option.
A paper wallet is a basic option, which simply involves writing a code on a piece of paper. You can visit a site like MyEtherWallet and use it to print a piece of paper with your public and private keys, plus QR codes. This is considered secure, as it is out of reach for hackers. However, it could be stolen or you might lose the piece of paper, so it is not ideal. It is also inconvenient if you keep it in a safe or buried somewhere, as you will not be able to use your wallet when you are out and about.
Mobile wallets like Jaxx, Coinomi and Atomic are great, as you can access your wallet at any time. However, they are considered to be light clients, meaning they are easier to hack, so you need to be careful when selecting a secure provider. Desktop wallets such as Mist, Exodus and Atomic are convenient and secure, but they are connected to the internet, so your funds will be at risk if your computer is hacked, infected by malware or stolen.
Ultimately a hardware wallet is your best bet. They are more secure than web, desktop or mobile wallets, as they are not connected to the internet and provide cold storage. You can plug them into your computer or device of choice to make a transaction. They generate keys offline, and most have a screen, allowing you to sign on the device itself. The only real downside is that you have to pay for a hardware wallet, but it is a pretty minor investment if it keeps your Ether safe and secure. You may also have to endure a long wait for your hardware wallet, as shipping times can vary, so this is another factor to consider.
Who Should Make Use of This Comparison?
This article is designed for anyone that wants to use Ether instead of traditional fiat currencies. It is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, after Bitcoin, and you can use it at a wide range of retailers. Ethereum is a popular cryptocurrency to invest in, as it offers users a fast, efficient and cost-effective way to conduct online transactions, but you need a wallet to keep track of your transactions, make payments, receive withdrawals and check your balance.
If you are interested in alternative cryptocurrencies, you can check out guides to Bitcoin wallets, Ripple wallet reviews, Tether wallet reviews or Bitcoin Cash wallet reviews. You should read this guide if you are thinking of investing in Ethereum and need to know how to create a wallet. It also if you already have a wallet, as you may not be using the best Ethereum wallet for your needs. This comparison explains the strengths and weaknesses of the different wallets and helps you find your perfect match.
If you are looking for a hardware wallet, TREZOR is a great option. It has a reputation for security, it allows you to store a range of cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, it has a screen and it is extremely well designed. This hardware wallet is light and elegant, but also very durable. Cost varies depending on the model you choose, but it is a worthwhile investment. Solid alternatives include KeepKey and the Ledger Nano S for anyone looking for the best Ethereum hardware wallet.
If you want a desktop wallet, Mist is the official wallet built by Ethereum developers. That gives users peace of mind, while it eases any security concerns. Mist has ShapeShift built into it, which is a nice feature. It gives you full control over your private keys, the code is open source and it makes it easy to buy ETH using fiat currency or BTC. However, it requires you to download the entire Ethereum blockchain and it is not particularly user-friendly. Beginners might prefer Exodus, which is free, easy to use and backed by helpful support. However, there are limited security features and it is not 100% open source.
MyEtherWallet is the best online Ethereum wallet. It is decentralized and safer than some of its rivals. Jaxx is probably the best mobile wallet for Ethereum users, as it is free, convenient, easy to use, versatile and gives you control of private keys, while there is a fantastic development community behind it. However, it was hacked in 2017, which slightly tarnished its reputation for security. MetaMask is another good option that is available on desktop and mobile.
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This is How Our Experts Test Ethereum Wallets
Our expert reviewers personally test each Ethereum wallet on the market. They sign up for web-based wallets and assess the efficacy and security of the process. The reviewers make deposits and withdrawals, testing the speed and ease of use, while also marking each wallet on how well the relevant information is displayed.
They interact with customer service representatives where applicable, and perform a deep background check of each provider, looking for security breaches, transparency and the activity within the development community.
They download and set up each desktop or mobile wallet and perform an Ethereum wallet check, testing it for the same things: speed, ease of use, strength of service, security, whether it is open source, whether it gives you control over private keys, compatibility and versatility.
Our reviewers also purchase hardware wallets and assess shipping times, ease of setup, compatibility and more. They are then able to compare the various strengths and weaknesses of each wallet, before making recommendations for the best Ethereum wallet providers from a position of strength.
Finding the Best Ethereum Wallet for You
The wide range of options available makes it easy for you to find your perfect match when looking for an Ethereum wallet. First, you should consider what sort of device you want to use. If you only really use a mobile and you want a convenient, user-friendly wallet that stores multiple cryptocurrencies, you could go for Jaxx or Coinomi.
If you use a range of devices, you value security highly, you regularly travel and you plan to store a significant amount of ETH, you might be better off investing in a top-of-the-line hardware wallet like TREZOR or KeepKey. However, if you do not want to invest in hardware and you feel confident that you can keep the paper safe, you might opt for a paper wallet. If you simply want the easiest option, choose a web wallet, but just bear the security risks in mind.
How to Identify the Best Ethereum Wallets
You have hundreds of different options at your disposal when seeking to set up an Ethereum wallet. These are the key factors you should look for in a wallet provider:
Security should be your primary concern when selecting an Ethereum wallet. Several wallets have been hacked in recent years, and phishing remains a significant threat to anyone holding crypto, so you should look out for wallets with a lengthy history of avoiding security breaches. You should check if it uses two-factor authentication, while strong backup and restore features are also a must.
Ease of use
Ease of use is another key condition you should demand from an Ethereum wallet provider. Some crypto wallets make the whole process overly complex and they are not user friendly at all. You should pick a wallet that displays all the information you need in a clear, bold and concise fashion while facilitating swift, painless transactions. Some Ethereum wallets benefit from really elegant design and plenty of educational material, which is a bonus.
Private key control
You should find an Ethereum wallet that allows you to retain control of your private keys. Not all wallets offer this ability, but it is important because it allows you to access and fully control your Ether holdings at all times.
Compatibility with various different operating systems is another important feature of the best Ethereum wallet providers. You should be able to access your wallet on a wide range of devices, ensuring that you can always check your balance and complete transactions wherever you are. You should look at the development team behind the wallet. An active, talented development team will continue to improve the wallet to be compatible with new devices, take advantage of technological developments, maintain safety and improve the overall user experience.
Support for multiple cryptocurrencies
The best Ethereum classic wallet options provide support for multiple cryptocurrencies. Ether is a large and popular coin, but many crypto enthusiasts like to hold a variety of different coins at the same time. You can check out Bitcoin SV wallet reviews, Binance Coin wallet reviews, Litecoin wallet reviews, EOS wallet reviews and so on, but ultimately you should be able to hold all of your coins in one wallet, as that improves efficiency, control and security. Even if right now you are only planning to invest in Ethereum, that might change in future, so find a versatile wallet to save the need to switch at a later date.
How to Create an Ethereum Wallet
The process for setting up most Ethereum wallets is extremely simple. If you want a mobile Ethereum wallet, visit the app store, download the wallet of your choice, and choose a recovery sentence and strong password. You can then add ETH to your wallet and use your receiving address to receive Ether. The process for creating a desktop wallet is similar, but you just have to download and install the software. Wallet providers like Mist do not require you to provide any personal information or identification.
If you want to use a web-based wallet like MyEtherWallet, you do not need to provide any personal details or show ID either. Just visit the site, click “Create a New Wallet”, select “By JSON File”, choose a strong password, write it down on paper, download your JSON file and start using the wallet. If you want to use a hardware wallet, you must buy it online and wait for it to arrive. Then simply follow the instructions provided. Connect the hardware wallet to your computer, visit the provider’s website, install the accompanying software and the latest firmware, give your device a name, set up your PIN, write down the recovery seeds and start using the wallet.
Why Choose Ethereum?
Ethereum is a popular cryptocurrency that can be traded at all the leading crypto exchanges, while you can also mine it if you so desire. It has a shorter block time than Bitcoin, which allows for quicker transactions, and ETH is a lot cheaper than BTC. The Ethereum blockchain has a wide range of uses, and Ether is very versatile. The price of ETH fluctuates, but it has broadly gone up over the past couple of years.
You have a wide range of choices at your disposal when searching for an Ethereum wallet. There is no perfect solution, but it is worth investing in a strong hardware wallet, as it offers the greatest protection. If you decide to go for a web wallet or to download a wallet for your mobile or desktop, look for a provider that has a strong track record of keeping users’ ETH secure. You should also search for a user-friendly wallet that provides versatility and compatibility with a number of devices.
You can also try these alternatives, which we prefer as you can also combine the wallet with a functional exchange.
Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, be aware of the risks when trading them.